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Artists' campaign against Cardiff cuts gathers 4,000 signatures

ARTISTS in Cardiff are gaining momentum in their opposition to council cuts – ahead of the budget consultation closing tonight.

A “selfie” protest and petition are part of a popular online campaign by artists opposing cuts to arts.

The campaign called Cardiff Without Culture began one week ago and has seen a surge in support with their petition reaching over 4,000 signatures.

Supporters are taking pictures of themselves wearing plasters and then sharing them on social media with the hashtag #cardiffwithoutculture.CYRRosyW8AADfMj

Chris Brown, co-director of G39 art gallery, said: “What you’re looking at is a reduced cultural offering and the knock-on effect is that the city will become a much less appealing place for tourism and business.

“It takes the vibrancy out of the city when the council says we don’t value the arts enough to invest in them.”

Emma Price, a Cardiff artist, said that funding for the arts was crucial for Cardiff’s reputation as a flourishing city.

Artists have warned that the cuts will create a “cultural wasteland” which could result in job losses in unrelated industries.

The council wants to cut £641,000 from the arts next year spread across events, venues and grants.

It proposes to cut:

  • £143,000 from Cardiff Singer of the World, Cardiff contemporary and Artes Mundi
  • £430,000 from venues and
  • £68,000 from grants.

A spokesman for Cardiff council said: “Like all local authorities in Wales, Cardiff is facing unprecedented financial pressures. We are looking to change the way we deliver services. The arts sector is no different and we are committed to exploring new ways of working to make the necessary savings.

“The council does want to review the costs, income and the way we manage our ‘cultural portfolio’. Rather than closing these buildings, we are working with our partners to explore new ways to manage them.

“After the budget consultation closes on January 12, the results will be considered and a final budget decision will be made by full council when it meets on February 25, 2015.”

To sign the petition click here.

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